Paperboys lack actual colleagues,
but I was a part-time paper boy,
and my mother, a part-time colleague.
When I’d oversleep, or in bad weather,
she’d rescue me from the steep daily grind.
“Leave the bike home. I’ll drive, to save time.”
That was all; guilt trips were not her way.
(Those were the bailiwick of my father.)

When I was short of friends, she and I played.
I’d kick a soccer ball up the driveway,
mostly relishing the crashing echo
of ball against door. But Mom would bellow,
when I tattooed her legs. Now, that’s a friend!
Only with her death would our friendship end.

Excerpted from Colleagues: 1954-2014


Ron Singer’s poetry has appeared, e.g., in alba, Anemone Sidecar, Avatar Review, Borderlands, The Brooklyn Rail, Cake, Ducts, Evergreen Review, Grey Sparrow, The Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review, Strong Verse, Waterways: Poetry in the Mainstream, Windsor Review,  andWord Riot. He is also the author of ten books. For details,

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